Artist asks scientific questions with her artwork for gallery showing

By Jason Mount

Students can ponder great scientific questions in The Art Gallery with featured work from artist Judith Brodsky.

Brodsky’s works draw inspiration from science for this collection, titling it “The Twenty Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century,” which will run from now until Dec. 11.

When asked how she went about creating the pieces, Brodsky said she found a New York Times article, where she frequently looks for inspiration for many of her works. She then got creative by asking herself, “What is important to us in our era?”

Brodsky did not create her images solely to describe the scientific question they were based on; she thought about what other meanings the question may have, finding images of the time we live in.

She used her drawing “Are Men Necessary? Women?” as an example, relating it to the gender and sexuality issues that have surfaced in recent years.

Other inspirations of Brodsky’s include women’s issues, like in her series “One Hundred Million Women are Missing,” and the environment in her series “The Meadowlands Strike Back.”

The creation of Brodsky’s drawings displayed in the collection were lengthy, and involved a process she called “tiling.” The process starts on the computer, and continues with enlarged images that Brodsky then prints out on sheets of paper of any size, which she then glues together and draws over it with an oil stick.

Other pieces in the series are prints as opposed to drawings, Brodsky said.

Professor of Fine Arts Harry Naar explained that he chose to showcase Brodsky in The Art Gallery for multiple reasons, such as her local and national fame as a contemporary artist.

Naar also mentioned that Brodsky is the first artist to have a second show in The Art Gallery.

Brodsky has pieces in the permanent collections of over 100 museums and institutions, including the Library of Congress, University of California Los Angeles, and the London School of Design. She is also the founding director of the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, now known as the Brodsky Center, and is a former president of the College Arts Association.

Naar’s views of the pieces in the gallery reflect on the line between science and art, as Brodsky’s series pulls inspiration from questions purely based on science. He explained that the series shows that artists can also be thinkers.

“It is important how an artist can take scientific questions and form images,” he said.

Brodsky said she hopes people will think and be mesmerized by her exhibit. She wants people to think seriously about what they are seeing, but also to enjoy the art itself on the surface.

“I try to make art that is attractive. I try to seduce people into thinking about these things,” she said.

Dr. Naar hopes that people who view the exhibit “not only look at the art,” but also “that they think beyond the image.”

Originally published in the 11/02/16 edition.

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